Doctor: Tick bite can cause life-threatening allergies to red meat

(CNN)

KRON – Researches find that a specific kind of tick bite can make you allergic to red meat.

The Lone Star Tick gets its name from the roughly Texas-shaped, white dot on its back.

The tick was once found only in the eastern and southeastern U.S.

Now it is starting to show up in places like Missouri, Minnesota, and even the eastern tip of Long Island.

The tick’s bite can trigger a life-threatening reaction to red meat.

Actually, the allergic reaction is caused by a sugar in meat known as alpha-gal.

Dr. Kevin Boatright is an allergist and immunologist.

“The symptoms are usually like any typical allergic reaction – itching, rashing, to full-fledged anaphylaxis with difficulty breathing, wheezing,” he said.

The reaction is delayed, so sometimes sufferers have no idea what prompted their reaction.

“It’s a delayed type of reaction,” Dr. Boatright said. “So when you ingest a red meat, that reaction doesn’t occur for potentially, three, up to eight hours later.”

There’s no known cure for the alpha gal allergy.

The only course of action for those who suffer from it is cutting red meat out of their diet.

To prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends using an insect repellent that contains 20 percent or more deet or ir-3535.

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